The College Student’s Guide To Buying Your First Laptop

For college students these days, laptops are a basic necessity – be it to get work done, or simply to loosen up and take pleasure in an evening with friends. Buying a new laptop when there’s so many to pick from can be complex, but there are some fundamental things you should know when you go shopping for one.

Processor

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There are a lot of diverse options here but to keep it plain, try and glue to one of the Intel processors, starting with ‘Core i’, and then a number.

If your field of study requires only basic usage like browsing and documentation, then an i3 would do just fine. However, if you need to run software like Photoshop, MATLAB or AutoCAD, then consider buying a powerful processor. Look for a 4th or at least a 3rd generation Intel processor. An i5 will contentedly handle most things you throw at it.

RAM

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4GB is the least amount of RAM you should have in a laptop, but you’re better off with 6GB. That will run everything you need without exhausting you or prying with multitasking. Choose laptops with upgradeable RAM wherever possible so that down the line, you can slope it up to 8, or even 16GB. RAM is reasonably inexpensive and easy to install.

Hard Drive

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Target for pace over size. You can save stuff on a cheap external drive, in a thumb drive or in the cloud if need be. What you can’t do is get better performance out of your laptop. For beginners, 5,400-rpms is what you would like in a drive speed, but if you can find a 7,200-rpm model, you will get quicker boot times, better loading speed and quicker data recovery.

Wi-Fi

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Look for a dual-band Wi-Fi card that can grip both older routers and the more modern ones (802.11b/g/n/ac). The newest AC standard is three times faster than the previous N standard.

USB Ports

 

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You should have at least two USB ports; if possible one should support faster USB 3.0 speeds.

Longer battery life

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Get a laptop that guarantees quality battery life, and opt for an extended or secondary battery whenever possible. In general, you’re better off buying a system with more than 6 hours of juice, despite the price.

Keyboard and touchpad

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The keyboard should be pliable and comfy, not soggy. The touchpad is similarly significant; you’ll want to make sure the receptiveness is smooth.

Graphics card

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An out-and-out graphics card like NVIDIA’s GeForce series has its own processor and RAM for managing complex 3D graphics, which hits the battery life of your laptop.

People may tell you that you need a laptop with an impartial graphics card but if you are in college, you can live with a little cooperation. And an integrated graphics card, with an upright processor and enough RAM, will still run most games at slightly reduced graphics settings.

CD Drive and storage

sgsThese days, you don’t really need a CD drive, and can bounce it without flinching, thanks to the widespread adoption of USB pen drives.

Operating system

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If you’re an engineering student, you absolutely have to get used to Linux. The Linux ecosystem delivers massive power in the hands of those who know how to use it, and is bread and butter for developers.

If you are into gaming, designing, or video editing, stick to Windows which has the leading support in terms of third party applications.

However, if you are eager to get a MacBook and are thinking if OS X is for you, then the rest is guaranteed – it can handle everything rather well with the only exception of heavy gaming.

Picture courtesy- partition-tool.com, brighthub.com, zdnet.com, lenovo.com, techbzar.com, androidcentral.com, pcadvisor.co.uk, pcworld.com, mln.com.au and wccftech.com


by techtalks @TechTalks September 28, 2015 10:41 AM UTC

DIGITAL DEBATE

Mobile Upgrades: Killing The Product Before Its Time?

Have to agree. The speed of newer phone models within the same series and newer app versions lead to more thought put into buying decisions. Phone lines have a definite short shelf life

Lionel Gurjao

Frequently upgrading the software is a real problem as updating the software might cause your phone to lag because of the older hardware.

Shivendra Singh

They should come out with upgrades for the specific phones and not for the separate Operating System. This way a special version for your phones specific hardware can be made

Maalin Ashar

They should come out with upgrades for the specific phones and not for the separate Operating System. This way a special version for your phones specific hardware can be made

Maalin Ashar

Q5 blackberry

Alhassan A Bukar

Nice

Ishwar Maradi